God is great, God is good … but why?

Last week, Netflix managed to anger virtually their entire customer base. Up until then, Netflix had an extremely loyal and even evangelistic group of users. Many would describe how great Netflix was, how amazing the online streaming library was, and how everyone else should give it a try.

That is until Netflix decided to change their plans, which amounted to an over 60% price increase for the majority of their customers. They made it worse, at least in my eyes, by trying to spin the pricing change as a boon for consumers and an increase in choice. It did not go over well.

Their company blog and Facebook page was inundated with angry, sometimes hostile and nasty, comments. #DearNetflix trended on Twitter with users voicing their emotions over the price hike.

All of the positive emotions that Netflix had built up over the early years of their existence came crashing down with one announcement.

Perhaps, Netflix misgauged their customers. The video company was receiving so much praise earlier, not because of something innate with the company, but because customers appreciated the value they received from their monthly subscription.

Netflix was not great. Netflix was great to us. There is a significant difference between the two.

It is this difference that often leads companies into poor decisions, as they feel customers believe them to be in the first category, when they actually are in the second.

It is also this difference that leads many to react negatively toward God, because, while we say we believe God is great, what we really mean is that God is great to us. That is an even bigger difference.

Photo from BSCKids.com

How easy is it for us to doubt God’s goodness based on the circumstances in our life? Most of the time it does not even need to be extremely difficult situations. We are running late and get stopped by a red light. Our favorite shirt gets a stain on it. Netflix increases their price. Whatever it may be, it usually does not take much for us to being to question God.

What does this often indicate? We believe God to be good, not because it is His nature to be good, but because He has given us good things. He is being good to us. That’s what makes Him good – our happiness.
But we don’t do that with others. Am I less good as a parent if allow my children to experience pain and sadness some? What if they have to receive shots for immunizations or treatment of an illness? Do I stop being good because I allow them to endure temporary pain for their long term benefit?
The student pastor at my church preached an excellent message yesterday on dealing with spiritual lows, the times when God doesn’t seem near and doesn’t make sense. Our circumstances can be deceiving, but we can trust in the good nature of God even when He seems far away.
I appreciate the move of many in the Christian music industry to address these very real situations in our walk with Christ. Even though we often act plastic and fail to admit when we are struggling, as I wrote about last week, many are recognizing that being honest and authentic is better for everyone – ourselves, those around us and God.
Casting Crown’s Praise You in This Storm and Laura Story’s Blessings are great reminders of what God asks of us. He doesn’t expect us to understand everything. He knows we can’t. But we can trust in His goodness despite our circumstances not being good.
Resting in Christ’s good nature, doesn’t mean being fake and acting as if nothing is wrong. It does mean having trust despite the tears. Peace through the pain. Faith in the fears.
Netflix is a human company that makes mistakes. Raising their prices may turn out to be a financial and business misstep. That will never be the case for our sovereign God.
When Job questioned God for allowing all of us suffering, Job never got an answer to all of the charges he brought up, but He did get God. That was what Job really needed. He didn’t need an answer as much as presence. The presence of a good God, who may not make sense all the time, but He remains good.
Your circumstances may be bad, but your God is always good. Not because He is good to you, but because by His very nature God is good.

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About Author

Aaron Earls

Christian. Husband. Daddy. Writer. Online editor for Facts & Trends Magazine. Fan of quick wits, magical wardrobes, brave hobbits, time traveling police boxes & Blue Devils.